GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — A man accused of child abuse after authorities say a 3-year-old boy shot his 8-month-old sister in the face in a New Mexico motel room also faces charges in another case involving his girlfriend’s children.
Tyrell Bitsilly was arrested in October after police say he fired a gun during an argument inside a car in downtown Gallup, the Gallup Independent newspaper reported . Police said the 3-year-old, the baby and the children’s mother, Shayanne Nelson, were in the car at the time of the shooting.
Bitsilly, 21, was arrested and charged with child abuse and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in that case and ordered to stay away from the children and his 18-year-old girlfriend. But authorities say Bitsilly was in a motel room with Nelson and her children when the baby was shot in the face Saturday.
Officials say the baby is in critical condition.
Nelson told police she and Bitsilly were in the shower when her son found a gun and accidentally shot the baby. Nelson said she believed the gun was left by someone who previously stayed in the room.
Police said no other adults were in the room at the time of the shooting. A witness told police he saw Bitsilly wipe the handgun afterward.
Nelson and Bitsilly are facing child abuse charges stemming from the shooting. Bitsilly also is facing a charge of tampering with evidence.
McKinley County Magistrate Judge Robert Baca on Wednesday ordered Bitsilly held on $70,000 bail and deemed him a flight risk for violating the terms of his release in the other case.
“You can’t follow court orders,” Baca told Bitsilly. “I find you dangerous to the community.”
Police said Bitsilly disposed of the weapon from the October shooting. Gallup police Capt. Marinda Spencer has said officers never recovered it.
Bitsilly’s attorney, John Bernitz, said police believe Saturday’s shooting was an accident and that he’s still studying the case.